Extreme Heat & Heatwaves

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October: Extreme Heat and Heatwaves


In recent decades, Victoria’s climate has changed by becoming warmer and drier, with the number of extreme heat days becoming more frequent. Victorian climate projections by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology indicate that these trends will continue with further increases in the number of very hot days and extreme heat.

Extreme heat is one of the most significant natural hazards facing Victorians.

Extreme Heat occurs when the forecast average temperature on any day exceeds the predetermined heat health temperature threshold in a Victorian weather district.

A heatwave involves three or more consecutive days of extreme heat.

While the impacts of extreme heat can reach across entire communities, those who are most at risk of extreme heat are:

  • Older age or life stage.
  • With particular social or economic circumstances limiting available supports.
  • Experiencing health conditions.
  • Have limited mobility and need assistance.
  • Taking medications that may affect how the body reacts to heat
  • Who is active outdoors?

What you can do and what your family can assist with during scorching weather:

  • Supply of light-coloured, loose-fitting cotton clothing This could include:

          For Ladies: sleeveless summer dresses and summer nightwear.

          For Men: a short-sleeved shirt, shorts, cotton summer socks, and summer pyjamas.

  • Sip cool water or other drinks, and ensure drinks are within reach. When drinks are getting low, fill up the water jug.
  • Look for any signs of distress.
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Weakness, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting
  • Fatigue, headache, and confusion

Take care of yourself:

  • Stay out of the sun.
  • Avoid travelling in the hottest part of the day.
  • Spend more time in cool or air-conditioned spaces.
  • Keep hydrated by having regular water, cool drinks, or tea.
  • Avoid strenuous activity.